Latest News

End of the Year Update

Home > Magic > Spells > A >

School necromancy; Level necromancer 3


Casting Time 1 standard action


Range touch
Targets one or more corpses touched
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no


This spell turns corpses into undead skeletons or zombies that obey your spoken commands. The undead can be made to follow you, or they can be made to remain in an area and attack any creature (or just a specific kind of creature) entering the place. They remain animated until they are destroyed. A destroyed skeleton or zombie can’t be animated again.

Regardless of the type of undead you create with this spell, you can’t create more HD of undead than twice your caster level with a single casting of animate dead. The undead you create remain under your control indefinitely. No matter how many times you use this spell, however, you can control only 4 HD worth of undead creatures per caster level. If you exceed this number, all the newly created creatures fall under your control, and any excess undead from previous castings become uncontrolled. You choose which creatures are released.

  • Skeletons: A skeleton can be created only from a mostly intact corpse or skeleton. The corpse must have bones. If a skeleton is made from a corpse, the flesh falls off the bones. Note: The bloody skeleton and burning skeleton variants are created by use of the animate dead spell but count as double their normal HD when doing so.
  • Zombies: A zombie can be created only from a mostly intact corpse. The corpse must be that of a creature with a physical anatomy. Note: The rule regarding costing double HD for creating variant bloody skeleton and burning skeleton variants was not included in the fast zombie and plague zombie variant zombie template details. It is left to the GMs discretion if that rule would apply to creating variant zombies.